06 December 1920

6 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

Ive just finished a story called The Ladies Maid which Im sending for the paper. I do hope you care to print it. Its what I meant when I said a Xmas story. Dear knows Xmas doesn't come in it after all and you may think Im a fraud. But I think, all the same, people might like to read it at Xmas time. The number of letters Ive had about Miss Brill! I think I am very fortunate to have people like my stories - don't you? But I must say it does surprise me. This one I'd like you and de la Mare to like - other people don't matter.

Just while Im on the subject I suppose you will think I am an egocentric to mind the way Constable has advertised my book & the paragraph that is on the paper cover. Id like to say I mind so much so terribly that there are no words for me. No - Im dumb!! I think it so insulting & disgusting and undignified that - well - there you are! Its no good suffering all again. But the bit about "women will learn by heart and not repeat" - Gods! Why didn't they have a photograph of me looking through a garter! But I was helpless here - too late to stop it - so now I must prove - no - convince people ce n'est pas moi. At least if Id known they were going to say that no power on earth would have made me cut a word. I wish I hadn't. I was wrong - very wrong.

The story will go to you Wednesday morning. A typist has been found at 7 francs a 1000. I think she is mad as well. But I can't afford not to send corrected copies. What a horrible note this is. And there's the evening star - like an emerald hanging over the palm. [To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]